Backstage Capital invests $50K in singer Kehlanis tech startup

Music artist Kehlani is getting into the tech business and she’s tapped Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital for funding. Backstage Capital, the venture capital firm focused on funding people of color, has invested $50,000 in Kehlani’s stealth startup, Flora.

The idea with Flora is to focus on health and wellness for the artist’s target audience of people between the ages of 16 and 25. Details of the startup are scarce, but Flora describes itself as “curated green content.” As part of the investment, Hamilton will join the board, and act as a mentor and advisor.

“Bridging the gap between my career, activism & my audience is important to me as a next step,” Kehlani said in a statement to TechCrunch. “I am incredibly honored to work with Arlan, not only due to her outstanding work in the tech world, but her consistency in supporting queer women of color. I look forward to creating positive change & making strides in tech.”

This deal all started a few weeks ago, when Kehlani reached out to Hamilton to thank her for helping queer women of color break into tech, Hamilton told TechCrunch. They proceeded to meet up and that’s when Kehlani told Hamilton about Flora, which she co-founded with Alaxic Smith and Reid Williams.

“Kehlani is at the Soul Train Awards tonight in Vegas where she is up for Best R&B Female, and is still Slacking with her co-founders and me about startup business,” Hamilton told me last night. “It’s been this way from all of her shows the past few weeks, including Voodoo Fest. She’s taking this incredibly seriously, and in my opinion is approaching it like she would a new album or tour. It’s exciting to see her learning about the tech world, and I’m impressed with her interest in sharing the journey with her fans.”

Since Backstage Capital’s founding in September 2015, the fund has invested about $2.5 million into more than 50 startups.

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